Toughie No 1494 by Kcit
Hints and Tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
This is a pleasant puzzle with no obscurities and a few d’oh moments.
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1a What’s wanted is read about — backed being restrained about that (11)
DESIDERATUM – an anagram (about) of IS READ with an adjective meaning restrained or toned down reversed around it.
7a Second-rate performer: a computer network endlessly troubled internally (4-3)
ALSO-RAN – A and the acronym for a local area network contain an adjective meaning troubled or peeved without its last letter.
8a Pepper soft food, having recalled broadcast about opening of kitchen (7)
PAPRIKA – food suitable for babies or invalids is followed by a verb to broadcast reversed around the first letter of kitchen.
10a When tucking into tripe conjures up meat dish (5)
ROAST – insert a conjunction meaning when into tripe or rubbish. ‘Conjures up’ are just linking words.
11a Form of eroticism in exercising muscles (9)
ISOMETRIC – an anagram (form) of EROTICISM.
12a Little chance for this planet? (7)
EARTHLY – double definition, the first an informal noun meaning little or no chance.
14a Prison denying one cut in sentence (7)
STRETCH – start with a slang word for prison and take away the Roman numeral for one. Now add a verb to cut or carve.
15a Girl hanging round attractive drifters? (7)
MISFITS – a girl’s title contains an informal adjective meaning attractive or sexually desirable. I’m not sure that drifters means the same as the answer so I take the presence of the question-mark to mean that it’s a definition by example.
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18a When swapping ends, is fastening bag (7)
SATCHEL – swap the outer letters of the answer and you get a verb meaning ‘is fastening’.
20a Wound on your leg? This discipline offers little for that (9)
NEUROLOGY – an anagram (wound) of ON YOUR LEG.
21a Religious leader runs into religious men (5)
PRIOR – insert the cricket abbreviation for runs into an informal adjective meaning sanctimoniously religious and the abbreviation for men in the services.
22a History’s teaching this writer about the French seductress (7)
LORELEI – start with a word for history’s teaching or knowledge passed down through the generations and add a personal pronoun (this writer). Finally insert a French definite article.
23a Couple, tense and sad, lacking energy in the first place (7)
TWOSOME – the abbreviation for tense (the grammatical sort) is followed by an unusual adjective meaning sad or wretched without its first E(nergy).
24a Look on board to collect yonder pieces (11)
SMITHEREENS – the usual abbreviation for ship contains a look or manner and inside that we have to put a synonym for yonder.
1d Dejection shown by the old man beset by endless longing (7)
DESPAIR – an affectionate term for ‘the old man’ or father is surrounded by a word meaning longing without its final letter.
2d Naval coverings upended revealing fish (5)
SPRAT – reverse the shortened form of a word formerly used to mean sailors’ waterproof hats.
3d Refuse to accept position? That shows foolishness (7)
DENSITY – a verb to refuse or reject contains a verb to position or place.
4d Avian predators take a dim view of hills (7)
RAPTORS – charade of a verb to take a dim view of or censure and rocky hills.
5d Like 007’s work to the destruction of SPECTRE (3-6)
TOP-SECRET – a very topical clue. TO is followed by an anagram (the destruction) of SPECTRE.
6d Colleagues upset about independent gross detective (7)
MAIGRET – reverse (upset) sporting colleagues and insert abbreviations for independent and gross.
7d Mail-train travelling round about revolutionary transport hub (3,8)
AIR TERMINAL – an anagram (travelling) of MAIL-TRAIN goes round the reversal (revolutionary) of a preposition meaning about or concerning.
9d Ruin of local here — with such beer? (7-4)
ALCOHOL-FREE – this is a semi-all-in-one. We need an anagram (ruin) of OF LOCAL HERE.
13d I vote in local area mostly, I and the people (3,6)
HOI POLLOI – insert I and a vote inside an informal US term for a local area (normally one in a city) without its final D (mostly). Finish with another I.
16d Conservatives? One of them’s here (7)
SQUARES – I presume that the one that’s here is the whole grid although the clue could have referenced the four black ones in its corners. Thanks to Lesley for pointing out what I should have seen – ‘here’ refers to the clue number, i.e. 16.
17d Endless hard work? Desire to be not very busy (7)
SLOWISH – a spell of strenuous work without its final letter is followed by a desire.
18d Cowboy‘s attempt on bullock lacking heart (7)
SHYSTER – an attempt or shot precedes a young bullock without its middle letter.
19d Despicable ambassador to America, securing nothing (7)
HEINOUS – the abbreviated title for an ambassador and a phrase meaning ‘living stateside’ contain the letter that resembles zero.
21d First priest as subject? (5)
PRONE – cryptically when split 2,3 the answer could mean the first priest. Subject here is an adjective meaning liable or susceptible.
The top clues for me were 14a and 18d. Which one(s) made your shortlist?